Fine food & logistics

21 Jun

From 6:15am CA time on Tues til now (~4:00om CA time on Thursday), I’ve had a grand total of 6 hours of sleep. So I apologize in advance for the typos, brevity, and lack of wit that will plague this post. These troubles are further exacerbated by the fact that I’m typing on my iPhone b/c it’s the only way I can covey photos to you for now …. And only on a 1-at-a-time basis.

The JFK-BRU flight was rather more interesting than one might have liked: it seems one of our PTSD vets had a bit too much to drink and that didn’t mix well with his Ambien either. The good news is: we didn’t end up needing to do a diversionary landing in Heathrow (we were *thatclose* to being grounded). The less-good news is that this situation made sleeping virtually impossible. My middle seat didn’t help much either. Luckily (?), however, there was a movie (“The Vow”) about a woman who suffered a TBI that completely erased her memory and her sense of self — so at least I got to reflect on, and be grateful (albeit in a very weepy, sentimental way) for how my own brain bashing managed to work out so well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Upon arriving to BRU and gathering the gear for all ~150 of us, we immediately embarked on a 1.5hr bus journey to Liege.

My initial impression of this town (city?), was that it seemed run-down and charmless. However, after we were given orders to explore the town and find lunch for ourselves (while the R2R staff waited for the “5 ton” transporters carrying our bikes), my view changed — both literally and figuratively.

I set out on a solo recon, without a map, and without even the slightest clue about what Liege was about or what sort of sites it might hold. I did precisely ZERO research for this trip. I just meandered aimlessly trusting my instincts + my general understanding of European city planning conventions.

Victory was mine! Great photos of quaint residential districts flanked by an impressive array of really cool bikes. Unfuckingbelievably awesome cheese shops (where I gorged myself), and pastry shops (where I stuffed myself), and ham / cured meat vendors (where I sampled liberally) and … The piece de resistance (or, more accurately: the place where I abandoned all hope of resistance): “Les petits plats canailles de beurre blanc” — a Michelin-rated restaurant in an dilapidated alleyway that welcomed me in with great warmth even though I was wearing jeans + the t-shirt pictured here.

The fact that they spoke no English and I speak and read no French actually probably helped to make this such an amazing a successful food outing. I just tried to convey that i wanted their specialties. To be honest, I’m not sure what, exactly, I ate. But I do know that it was all damn good!! First up was something sort of like pate with some mystery miracle purple sprouts, baby artichokes and the tiniest, tastiest capers (if that’s even what they were). Next: a buttery smooth fish with a sauce that should be classified as an elicit substance. Some bread sent directly from heaven. A “serve yourself” bottle of a very crisp white French wine. A chocolate something that was more elegant and better than any pudding i have ever tasted + a coffee served with a fascinating medley of accoutraments. This was definitely a Top-3 all-time eating experience.

I am fat and happy and SO glad that I get to ride tomorrow so that I can start working on mitigating the caloric damage.

I also have some great stories about our MOH and WWII riders, as well as some mad props that should be given to the R2R team for how well they have orchestrated this whole thing, but my typing errors are becoming far too distracting and my roommate is snoring aggressively, so I think that’s my cue to say “good night.”

Z & Dexter

2 Responses to “Fine food & logistics”

  1. katerinadiaviano June 22, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    I am sooo jealous. We enjoyed many fine meals in Belgium. Are you going to Charleroi–where the Battle of Waterloo took place? Pete says hi and hope you will also visit Brugges.

  2. justadventures June 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Niether of those places are on our itinerary ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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